Thursday, June 30, 2016

Memos to my Office

If I had the power to send memos, these would be them...

  1. Explaining and banning sexual harassment
  2. Letting all the security guards have the day off because they do literally nothing and look so incredibly bored
  3. Explain the difference between "cuisine" and "cousin"
  4. Georgia is not the "first European civilization" (putting it in quotes doesn't make it real!!!!), but IS home to the groundbreaking archeological discovery of the oldest hominin site outside of Africa 
  5. Georgia has a unique alphabet, yes, but...
    1. that by itself is not really a big draw for international tourists...
    2. it is not one of the "14 unique alphabets in the world"...there are more like 20 or 30 or even 40 depending on how you define "alphabet"...stop saying this. Also, can someone call the Ministry of Education and have them stop teaching this in schools??
  6. Please keep bringing your adorable children to the office. They are so fun and I love seeing adult Georgian men go crazy over them. Georgians are way more loving to children than most people.
  7. Also continue to have bosses buy employees treats on Fridays! (ice cream, coffee and pastry - this is hugely morale boosting)  
  8. "the destination is easily accessible by a magnificent 30 minute flight through the Mounties" (real quote from a document I was editing)
    fly right through these Mounties. majestic.

I wrote this post a while ago and was planning on adding to it, but I recently got the sudden, unexpected, and not entirely welcome news that my security clearance had been approved. I start working as an intern at the US embassy tomorrow...

While of course I am thrilled to be doing what I initially came here to do, and I'm sure I will have amazing experiences the rest of the summer at the embassy, it has been really difficult for me to accept that I am leaving GNTA. I feel like I have been doing really good and substantial work, I love that I am supporting Georgia, and I feel like I'm part of some insiders' club. What has made my time here really special, however, is the people. Everyone in my office is amazing, and while I sometimes throw some shade, I wanted to write a little tribute to them for making me feel so welcome and valued and almost like an honorary Georgian  ;)

GNTA June 2016 Superlatives*

Bacho aka Tortellini: best-natured, best confidant, most brutally honest, poutiest resting face, loudest phone ringtone

Nini K: most fashionable, sweetest, best cook, most determined to succeed/visionary

Irakli: most serious working face

Vakho: best laugh

Amiran: most frequent smoking breaks

Vika: best shoes

Nini P: best winker, cutest child brought to work, most tan

Tornike: most boss, most flawless English

Rusudan: most down to earth, most friendly

Ana: best hair (it's shiny and bouncy and curly and black and reminds me of my mom in a very non-creepy way)

Beka: most distracted, least predictable hours, most creative, best at avoiding conflict by remaining silent

Daria: most likely to be awarded citizenship by presidential decree for service to the country, tie for best hair 

HR Department: most patient with me, best public transportation directions 

New interns: best of luck to you   ;)

*this isn't everyone who works at GNTA, or even everyone who I met! Just the people who I interacted with enough to be able to write a fair-ish superlative


  1. Hi Sam---stumbled acroos your blog while researching Georgia, which I bought tickets to on a whim a few days ago--I live in Greece but am an American. I'll be flying into Tbilisi OCtober 12th and out October 23rd, no itinerary to follow, but will use your blog for guidance. Let me know if you'd like to meet up. Best, Ben

    1. Hey, Ben! Good to hear you've enjoyed my blog, and great choice to visit Georgia!
      I actually won't be in Tbilisi while you're there, but if you have any questions about traveling in Georgia, shoot me a note at